In an exclusive shoot at the Grand Hotel & Spa York, featuring fashion from Browns of York, we celebrate classic-meets-contemporary style sophistication for the Christmas party season. Words and styling by Stephanie Smith. Pictures by Charlotte Graham.
The upcoming party season brings with it a most welcome return to old-school glamour, with deep jewel shades, luxurious textures and sleek, classic silhouettes allowing a new sophistication to inform contemporary evening style.
The truth is, we’re becoming rather tired of the athleisure way of dressing, the seamless blending of work, rest and play wear which means we can transition from night to day and work to weekends without a change of gear.
It’s supposed to be easy, but actually, it can be exhausting and stressful, denying us time to pause and invest in ourselves. Sometimes we want to make a special effort, to dress up properly in grown-up, elegant clothes that bring a little languid luxury into our life, if only for a night.
For our festive fashion shoot, we have taken inspiration from the glamour of decades gone by, from the Art Deco era to the swoon-inducing fashions of the 1940s, when Lauren Bacall’s glossy rolling waves, deep red lip and a hint of androgyny never failed to intrigue.
The Grand Hotel and Spa in York provided a suitably elegant backdrop. One of the city’s most impressive and recognisable Edwardian buildings, the £25m hotel opened in 2010 in the Grade II-listed former North Eastern Railway headquarters. After the NER acquired several plots opposite York station, work began in 1900 and was completed in 1906. William Bell created the basic structural design, while Horace Field worked on the exterior embellishments and interior detail, where Belgian marble and creamy Huddlestone stone give a grand yet airy feel.
These days the Grand Hotel has 107 guest rooms, 13 suites, the Grand Bar, the Whisky Room and the Grand Boardroom, plus a spa in the basement, Hudson’s Restaurant and newly opened Rise Restaurant, Terrace and Bar.
On to the styling. The clothes and accessories were selected from Browns of York, the renowned Yorkshire department store which opened in 1890 and has been independent and family-owned ever since. There are also Browns stores in Helmsley, Beverley and Gainsborough.
Womenswear brands include French Connection, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Phase Eight, James Lakeland, Jacques Vert, Ted Baker and Damsel in a Dress, so something for all tastes and pockets. The Moda In Pelle department has frankly fabulous footwear, and there are handbags by Lulu Guinness, Ralph Lauren, Radley, Orla Kiely, Coccinelle, Lamb and Modula, and lingerie by Calvin Klein, Fantasie, Freya, Triumph, Lepel, Charnos and more.
The sleek and glossy hair looks were created by Ruben at Ross Charles on Gillygate in York. A nominee last year for North East Hairdresser of the Year, the salon regularly wins recognition for both men’s and women’s hairdressing. Meanwhile, freelance make-up artist Ash Fehners gave our model Ella a classic and defined sophistication using deep rich tones and a touch of illuminating glow.
Grown-up, elegant style is back, so take time to party.
Photography: Charlotte Graham Photography. https://www.charlottegraham.photography/
Styling: Stephanie Smith. www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion and www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @yorkshirefashQ Instagram: @yorkshirefashQ and @YPStyleTeam and @theypmagazine
Location: The Grand Hotel & Spa, Station Rise, York, www.thegrandyork.co.uk.
Clothes and accessories: Browns of York, www.brownsyork.co.uk, with thanks to Jamie Wood and Becca Cammidge.
Hair: Ruben Daniel Rodriguez Franco of Ross Charles, Gillygate, York, assisted by Kennedy Watson, www.hairdressersinyork.co.uk.
Make-up: Ash Fehners, assisted by Georgie Leadley. https://ashfehnersmakeup.wordpress.com/
Model: Ella Kitson of Boss Model Management in Manchester.